LA Chargers News

Undrafted Free Agent Getting First Team Reps at Left Tackle

By Ernie Padaon

Dec 31, 2011; San Francisco CA, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Whitney Mercilus (85) is blocked by UCLA Bruins offensive tackle Mike Harris (65) during the second quarter at AT

It was a priority to build up the depth all over the roster, but one of the most important positions on a team has an undrafted free agent and a player that was out of the league last season competing for first team reps with starter Jared Gaither sitting sideline with an injury.

When Gaither first went down with the injury, Mario Henderson was called up to take  first team snaps. Henderson was out of the NFL last season and last played for the Oakland Raiders in the 2010 season. He was released by them after showing up to camp out of shape last year and no other NFL team gave him a call. He has worked his way back into the league and onto our roster, signing a deal to be the backup for Gaither. With his first opportunity to get first team reps, an undrafted free agent rookie is stealing some action.

Mike Harris was signed onto the squad after the draft out of UCLA. 7 rounds passed and the 6-foot-5, 310 pound man was unselected. The Chargers gave him a call and gave him an opportunity and now Harris has impressed the coaching staff so much (OR Henderson has underwhelmed so much) that he is lining up on offense with Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews and Antonio Gates. Let’s just hope that he is the next undrafted free agent superstar for the Bolts offensive line like Kris Dielman was.

“I’m not going to lie. I was a little bit nervous, too. But once you’re out there, it’s just football. The competition is a lot better, but as long as I can match their athleticism and do my techniques right, everything will work out” – Mike Harris (SDUT)

Undrafted free agent VS guy out of the league last season. How bad is the depth at left tackle for the Chargers? Someone get Marcus McNeill in for a physical!